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Lakers experience another fourth-quarter collapse in 98-92 Game 3 loss to Dallas Mavericks

Photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wipes his face as he prepares for the final minutes of Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Bryant finished with 17 points in the 98-92 loss to the Mavericks. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011 Forget about Phil Jackson's increased animation and tightened rotation. Forget about Andrew Bynum showcasing his inside dominance. And forget how impressive the Triple Towers lineup looked with Lamar Odom taking Ron Artest's spot in the starting lineup.

I'll break down all of these issues later, but all that matters is that the Lakers lost, 98-92, in Game 3 on Friday against the Dallas Mavericks at American Airlines Arena because of a fourth-quarter implosion. The Lakers have another game on Sunday because this is a best-of-seven series, but there's no way they become the first team in NBA history to overcome a 3-0 deficit. I don't care that the Lakers have the talent and experience to pull off the feat, or that the Mavericks imploded in the 2006 NBA Finals after having a 2-0 series lead over Miami. There's no way the Lakers win this series. So the lasting images of the Lakers' dynasty points to their fourth-quarter unraveling. Below the jump, I explain how it all went down in the final 6:48 of the game.


6:41 - 6:35: Bynum set a screen on Dallas guard Jason Terry for Steve Blake in the far corner, giving him space to penetrate and throw a swing pass at the top of the key to Shannon Brown. Despite there being 14 seconds on the shot clock and Gasol establishing solid position in the post, Brown launches a three-pointer that hits the back iron.

After Gasol didn't try one bit to box out Dirk Nowitzki for the board, Jason Kidd and Nowitzki ran a pick-and-roll play. First Bynum and Gasol switched on Nowitzki so that Bynum could handle him at the free-throw line and Gasol would mark the lane and defend center Tyson Chandler. After Nowitzki set a pick on Kobe Bryant, he stayed with Kidd while Bynum stayed with Nowitzki.

Once he had the ball at the top of the key, Bynum gave him very little space to operate. After dribbling left, Bryant went out to double team, prompting Nowitzki to throw a swing pass to Kidd. Brown immediately shifted over to guard Kidd, but that opened up room for Peja Stojakovic. Since Gasol didn't rotate to guard him in time, Stojakovic made an open three-pointer that cut the Lakers' lead to 81-78.

5:11 - 4:54: It appeared that Gasol regained some confidence, showing tremendous footwork and poise in nailing a turnaround jumper over Nowitzki that gave the Lakers a 85-78 edge with 5:07 remaining. But he continued to show his poor focus on defense on the next possession. Nowitzki set a pick on Bryant, but Gasol wasn't nearby to cover Nowitzki, though Bynum was ready to shut off Kidd's lane to the basket. Bynum clearly had his eyes set on Chandler, but Gasol picked him up for some reason, leaving Nowitzki wide open for a three-pointer. His shot cut the Lakers' lead to 85-81.

4:22 - 3:48: Credit Gasol's eagerness in drawing a big-time charge on Nowitzki. But just like on the previous sequence, Gasol messes up on the next possession. Bryant for some reason ignores Bynum being open on the nearside and instead fires a pass to Fisher on the perimeter. He immediately feeds Gasol, who posted up against Nowitzki, lost his dribble, picked up the ball and forced a high-arching 15-footer that hit back iron.

After Chandler boxed out Bynum and grabbed the rebound, Kidd runs the offense on the other side of the floor. He immediately feeds Nowitzki, but Gasol shuts him down as he crosses the lane, prompting Nowitzki to fire a near-side pass to Stojakovic. Odom was too consumed with stopping Chandler, understandable since Bynum wasn't in his rotation. But Odom didn't respond quickly enough to closing out on Stojakovic, resulting in him nailing a three-pointer that closed the gap to 87-84.


3:25 - 2:57: These next two plays show Bryant making a few mistakes. In triple-threat position at the top of the key, Bryant drives left past Kidd, pulls up for a jumper at the free-throw line and then delivers a jump pass to Gasol, who was focusing on boxing out so the ball bounced off his chest. This was equal parts Bryant passing way too late and Gasol not angling himself so that he could receive a pass just in case Bryant changed his mind. Kidd picked up the loose ball and then drew a reach-in foul from Bryant. After Kidd's two free throws cut the Lakers' lead to 87-86, the Lakers took way too much time setting up their offense on the next possession.

With 13 seconds left on the shot clock, Bryant directed the offense from up top and found Odom open on the wing. Bynum established post position, but Odom shied away feeding Bynum the ball with Chandler fronting Bynum. So Odom passed the ball out to Bryant at the top of the key. With five seconds left on the shot clock, Bryant drove right before Stojakovic and Kidd doubled him. That left Odom wide open on the far side, but Bryant dribbled twice and settled for a 23-foot fallaway jumper that nipped the front of the rim.

2:40 - 2:00: After Nowitzki hit two free throws, Odom fed Bynum on the near side at the other end. Once Odom set a screen at the top of the key on Terry, Fisher cut to the near side and picked up Bynum's dump pass. He dribbled into the lane and converted on the left-handed leaner, giving the Lakers an 89-88 lead with 2:27 remaining. But that play was quickly short-lived.

On the next possession, Nowitzki ran a pick on Bryant, but Gasol continued to mark him. Still Nowtizki set a pick on Bryant's left, allowing Kidd some space to drive. Bryant ran through the pick, however, and shut off Kidd's penetration. Nowitzki received a pass from Kidd at the free-throw line and immediately attacked the lane before getting double-teamed by Bryant. That left Kidd open on the far-side perimeter, prompting Fisher to fill in the gap and close off Kidd's space. Bynum failed to rotate, however, leaving Terry wide open on the far side for a three-pointer. That shot gave the Mavericks a 91-89 lead.

1:47 - 1:10: Odom immediately quieted the cheers at American Airlines Arena by going one-on-one with Stojakovic, posting him up in the lane and then spinning around for a six-foot jumper that tied the score. But Dallas immediately answered. Gasol guarded Nowitzki, who had the ball at the top of the key, but he immediately drove left before Bynum shut off his drive. Still, that didn't stop Nowitzki from nailing a left-handed shot to give the Mavericks a 93-91 advantage.

1:10 - :18.2 - Odom tries to take Stojkaovic off the dribble again, but his drive into the lane for a left-handed runner bounced off the backboard and rim. Nowitzki immediately tipped the ball to Stojkavoic, setting up Fisher's worst play of the game. Once Nowitzki had the ball below the top of the key, he tried a series of jab fakes to throw Gasol off balance before dribbling inside. Bryant went for the steal, requiring Nowitzki to pick up his dribble and throw a quick pass to Kidd.

Bryant immediately rotated over, as did Odom once Stojkavoic received the ball in the near corner. That's why his off-balance jumper hit the back rim, but Terry saved the ball from going out of bounds. With a new shot clock, Kidd fed Nowitzki on the near post with Odom guarding him. Meanwhile, Bynum and Fisher shut off Chandler's baseline penetration before Bynum met Nowitzki with a double team, prompting him to fire a pass to Stojakovic on the far side. As soon as Stojakovic passed to Terry in the corner, Fisher immediately marked him. But Fisher overextended himself and bumped Terry with his waist, granting him two free throws that Terry converted for a 95-91 Mavericks lead.


:18.2 - 16.6 - Fisher makes another blunder on the inbounds pass. After Bryant ran off Bynum's high screen on Kidd, he continued to be marked. Meanwhile, Gasol flashed to the lane, but Nowitzki gave him little room to post up. Fisher threw a lob out of Odom's reach, prompting him to extend himself but he couldn't control the pass. Fisher immediately fouled Terry on the inbounds pass, and he hit two free throws to give Dallas a 97-91 lead.

:15.3 - :07 -  Gasol threw an inbounds pass to Bryant at the top of the key and he immediately hoisted a three-pointer. His shot hit off the back rim, but Gasol grabbed the rebound. After two missed put-backs, Gasol drew the foul, made the first free throw and then missed the second on purpose. But Kidd grabbed the rebound over Gasol and secured the win, hitting one of two foul shots.

--Mark Medina

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Top photo: Lakers guard Kobe Bryant wipes his face as he prepares for the final minutes of Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Bryant finished with 17 points in the 98-92 loss to the Mavericks. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011

Second photo: Lakers point guard Derek Fisher is fouled on a driving layup by Mavericks guard DeShawn Stevenson in the first half of Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011

Third photo: Lakers forward Lamar Odom fumbles the ball out of bounds on an inbounds play in the final minute of the fourth quarter of Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011

Bottom photo: Mavericks guard Jason Terry grabs irritated forward Dirk Nowitzki after he was fouled during Game 3 on Friday night in Dallas. Credit: Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times / May 6, 2011

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Hahahaha now this trolls and haters are now happy that our team was losing.Haters whatever you say we still don't bloody care.Thank you all real Lakers fans this is it win or lose we stick together.A lot of bandwagonners fans or fairweather fans showing their true colors now we know who they are and I will say,shame on you all haters and trolls.Once again its not over yet and I still believe in this team...Come on Lakers...Go Kobe the greatest player of all time give us some fight if you will shoot the whole game in game 4 so be it this is your team and we will support you all the way,and please Phil do the pick and roll play all night with KOBE and let him will this team to victory not your pathetic demented plays...

The only reason the Lakers made it past the first round to begin with was because they played an undersized, undermanned New Orleans Hornets team. Otherwise, they'd have been already sitting home watching on TV with the rest of us.

And with a hard cap coming down the pipeline, you've seen the last of Lakers dominance for the foreseeable future.

And it looks like even the Lakers bloggers can't stand the truth. I've already had a post removed just because I pointed out that you're delusional to think the Lakers still have a chance.

Just as I predicted. No more comments. Thanks

RobertM320 - Dude...the blog cop don't like UGLY or great opinion comments.

Mamba24-Dude...that staking charge has been dropped, it's ok to come back for the SWEEP party.

Robert 320,

There is one more game to play, yes there is a dying patient out there must we, fans subject ourselves to euthanize this beloved patient? That is what you are asking us to do, dis out the cheering fans with jeers and call them delusional. If you are a Laker fan, don't you think u should applaud them for their faithfulness to a moribund team? As long as there is one more game to play, there is hope. Hope spring eternal for those people who have bright outlook of the future.

Will this team listen to these fans? I leave that to HOPE too.

Oh Mark, O ye of little faith,

Have we all forgotten that we were on the brink of elimination TWICE after game 5 in last year’s Finals against BOS? And that we were behind most of the time in Game 7 until the middle of 4Q? And yet we struggled, persevered and succeeded. One game at a time, one quarter at a time.

S. Perkins like the Priet you are an officer and a gentleman. Obviously your knowledge of basketball is unmatched exept for the Priest Week after week we did a thankless job and was viciouly attacked by zealots. But our purpose was clear to tell the truth As you know the truth hurts. Now are numerous comments have proven to be prophetic. It is tragedy that we didn't alternatively received the rick comment of the day. Like mamba24 would say Carry On.

Whatever happened to the mamba guy and his roll call?
Has he gone the way of the Lakers?
All season long leading the cheers, and now when the clock is ticking away, nothing.
Well, I called it after game 2. The light switch couldn't be turned on in game 3. There was still no need for it. Can't really use the old and tired "lack of effort" excuse anymore. There was plenty of effort. Can't use the "let's go inside more" excuse. There was plenty of that. No Artest excuse, well that might work, but remember Artest had played every game until last night. So what's the matter now?
We needed drama, go Hollywood.
It's the drama queen ready to take over?
It's all about Kobe folks, the mamba, the arrogance will shine, right? No need to flip no damn switch, it's Kobe the greatest, it's the magnificent one. It's the poster in your bedroom with the killer look in his eyes. That's what.
He called it, I just copied it. Let's make this "historic."
I think Clark Gasoft is looking for a phone booth in Plano. SuperPau is emerging out to wipe out Gasoft's funk. Fisher will play like a savvy veteran once again. Bynum will take over the torch, no more "trust" issues. And the 11-ring guru, FINALLY starts coaching, might as well, couldn't just go quietly into the dark.
This is it, the practice season is over.

I still cannot believe this. What in the heck happened to Pau Gasol? He's like a punching bag now. He has no fight whatsoever. These playoffs, he's been a disgrace to the Laker organization, the country of Spain, and himself. Before, he would actually fight at least a little. Now, he just acts like a bi*ch. I just don't get it.

Well, he should still have good trade value. Maybe we can infuse some youth onto this team using Gasol and Ron Artest as the pieces. It's going to be an interesting offseason.

I'll always be a Lakerfan no matter what. I'm a lifer in this. Make a few moves with Gasol and Artest, let Fish retire or move to the bench as a backup, get a couple good, young, hungry players, KEEP THE BEAST HEALTHY, and we'll be right back in the thick of things again next year.

Go Lakers!

When Lakers lost to Denver and Utah in LA, i felt something wrong, Kobe had bad shots, turnovers, he didn't do that before. The problem with Lakers is the offense in the last 2 min, it was designed for Kobe, win with Kobe and lost with Kobe. When you hear Lakers coach said the reason they lost Sunday game because players could not get up early, how can you win championship with that kind of attitude ? This Sunday i bet Lakers fan will hear the same excuse.

Good Morning Laker Nation,

The sun came up today. The Lakers are down....but not out. I'm looking forward to game 4 and believe the Lakers will win....of course, I believed that about games 1-3 also.

Eventhough, I am rooting for the Mavs, I know that if the Lakers put their personal problems behind them, the players who are mad and won't speak to each other,kiss and make up and kobe controls his ego problem and starts passing the ball to Bynum nonstop when he's under the basket, the Lakers could be the first team to come back from 3 down and win the series. Right now, though, they are suffocating each other with their mind games.

Zopi you are another great truth warrior. My only problem with you is that you should post more often. But you always clearly identified Lakers real problem and that is one Kobe Jelly Bean Bryant. Like Mamba 24 would have said OUTSTANDING!!

Lakers lost again down the stretch..pathetic. How is it that Bynum can dominate the first half and AGAIN they refuse to get him the ball in the 4th. Hell, Odom looked him off possession after possession. Then you notice how Odom LAZILY challenged Stojakovic on the 3 from the wing. He let him shoot. Pathetic. As much as I love this squad, it has to be blown up. No energy guys, barrr Brown who is a TO machine and ballhogs too much (although he played well last night for the most part), Blake will be fine like I've said earlier, but Gasol and Odom have to go. Neither is willing to lay it on the line defensively. Gasol did a C- on Nowitzki, Bynum attacked him when he guarded him. It's sad to see a Laker team implode like the team did in the late 90's vs Utah and SA. But that's what's happening. I expect Sunday's game to be no different. Too bad too. Would have loved to see us rip LeBums heart out in the finals. I'll hold out faith but right now, we are against the ropes, cut and staggering.

The haters are out in full effect, bashing everything P&G. Well so far the Lakers deserve it. They've underperformed collectively. If we can handle the love when they're winning, then we should be able to handle the hate when they're losing.

So haters....flame away...this is your time to shine!

Lamar Odom: 42 minutes (most minutes), 8-16 FG, good for 2nd in scoring, tied with Kobe, after Bynum, and -1 on the night.

Other +/-

Bynum -9
Gasol -7
Kobe/Fish -6

Anyone blaming Lamar for loss and/or inconsistency after today really needs to ask who was responsible for the other 6 minutes when Lamar was not on the court. If it helps, recall the intentional fouls late, starting with Fish's foul on Terry after his wretched pass to Lamar. Terry hit 4 FT following 2 intentional fouls and Kidd hit 1 FT following the intentional foul on him. Pau hit 1 FT to wash out Kidd's 1 FT, so a -4 from the point when the team had to foul intentionally. Which means that before time came for the intentional foul, Lamar was a +3. Every other starter was a - (Bynum -5, Gasol -3, Kobe/Fish -1).

I otherwise wonder whether I am watching the same game as some of you. The one soul said that Peja was on Lamar early in the 4th. Really? Gasol was on the bench and Barnes was in the game along with Shannon, Blake and Bynum. So Lamar was PF and not SF. The Mavs had Haywood, Nowitzki and Peja as C, PF, SF. So if Peja was guarding Lamar, does that mean that Nowitzki was guarding Barnes? If so, then Carlisle is the luckiest man alive, as should be Haywood on Bynum, Nowitzki on Lamar and Peja on Barnes. Later on, when Lamar, Bynum and Gasol were all in the game, hard for Lamar to post up Peja unless one of Bynum or Gasol clears the area, otherwise there'd be 6 souls down low with 3 Mavs in the paint. You'd need an industrial strength shoehorn to separate them.

Lastly, reasons for loss, in no particular order: (1) perception of Kobe and reality of Kobe is not the same, witness how little he penetrated and drove to the hole, he is now a jump shooter, (2) Kobe is no longer a lock down defender, which doesn't make him a bad defender, but it does means that the wretched defense of the other guards is that much more exposed, witness Terry torching the Lakers for 7-10 (2-4) and 7-8 (3-4 w/o the intentional fouls late), (3) having to help and double means that there will be rotation problems with a good passing team that is court aware like the Mavs, as the ball travels through the air faster than a human can run to rotate over, and the Lakers spent way too much time trying to help and double rather than simply shading over, (4) no reliable 3 PT shooter, (5) Pau and Barnes basically being worthless, with Pau not only far the worse owing to expectation, but also because the team wastes valuable opportunities in utter futility trying to get him involved in the game (why they went to ineffective him when they should have been feeding Bynum all the more), and (6) related to (1), with Kobe being a jump shooter now, owing to bad knees and fingers, going ISO and relying on him to deliver late is not the smart thing to do, which is not to say to forget about him, simply that the team has to continue to run the offense, and not stand around and wait for Kobe to play Superman.

For one more, The Fates of Greek mythology are cruel indeed. Never thought that I'd miss Farmar and Sasha. Farmar for the 3 PT that Blake was brought in to supply but hasn't, and also the aggression in driving to the hoop that Blake singularly lacks. And Sasha for the basketball IQ that Shannon simply does not have (makes one highlight play that more than a few here will remember forever, then makes 2-3 possession killing mistakes that more than a few here forget about), and Sasha has the lateral quickness on D that Shannon simply does not possess as Shannon is a straight line runner. And did I mention that Phil can't seem to read a game anymore? Witness his post game comment about the Lakers in control of the pace until meltdown. Now go check the Mavs 3 PT shooting through three quarters. If they had made a mere 2 more 3s over the first three quarters, the game would have been tied going into the 4th and not the Lakers up by 6. Peja largely corrected that deficiency on his own. But the looks for the Mavs in 1-3 were just as open as were the looks in the 4th. Would have been even worse had Kidd not shot a pathetic 2-13 from the field. Oh, and given Kidd's 2-13, why in Deity's Name is the team rotating off Terry to pick him up? And never mind the 2-13 in any event, since if you were looking for the one scenario that would afford the Lakers the best chance at victory, such would be the Mavs having to win via Kidd hitting long jumpers. Not only not great historically, but 36.1 and 34%, respectively, this season.

I wonder how much of a difference having Melo would have made if they made a full court press to get him when they might have had a chance.
They really need someone like him, but water under the bridge at this point.

Ok, ok, this season is about over. I do hope the Lakers can win Sunday and come back to LA.
Even if they lose a 5th game it would be nice for the fans to be able to applaud the team for what they accomplished the past few years.

After getting boo'd off the court at the end of game 2 I suspect not many fans really thought they might not be back for a game 5.
No matter how this season ended up, they don't deserve to be boo'd off the court in their final game, but now, it may be too late.

Whether it ends Sunday or not, I don't believe this team is going any further.
But I do appreciate the run, it was fun, but it was long, too long, for them to make another.

I applaud them for the accomplishments.

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon
And taken the moon away
It's time to wind up the masquerade
Just make your mind up the piper must be paid

The party's over
The candles flicker and dim
You danced and dreamed through the night
It seemed to be right just being with him
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

The party's over
It's time to call it a day
They've burst your pretty balloon and taken the moon away
Now you must wake up, all dreams must end
Take off your makeup, the party's over
It's all over, my friend

- Nat King Cole song

Mr Buss and Mitch I hope have seen the writing on the wall and need to completely overhaul the Lakers team. The first move would be to bring in a winning coach and that is Coach Sloan. He is proven and has the record and reputation to prove it. Next would be to forget about the twin towers in Bynum and Gasol. It never has worked out. Trade them for Howard and some shooters. Fisher would be the first to go followed by Odom. Kobe only has two years to go and then he is out of it. Clean out the entire bench..all of them. Thank goodness PJ is leaving. Kobe we have our eyes on you as next.


I like your post and your analysis. Yes Lamar did a lot of great things yesterday as a right player in replacing Artest EXCEPT for one important thing. DEFENSE on Peja. Whatever Lamar accomplished for this team as 6th man player of the year or the most improved Laker, it all boils down on his defense on Peja on the dying minutes. Must we also include the last play of T/O on the corner, that blunder was a hope killer. That is Lamar, he is the best player he can be at the apex, but not the reliable one at the climax. Bad defense from Lamar, Fisher and Gasol are unforgivable during the playoffs.

There is a big difference in playing an injured Houston (2009) or mediocre Utah (2008,10) than playing a legitimate elite level team like Dallas in the second round.

The last time they played a legitimate elite team was 2008 and they got slaughtered then too.

The Lakers have been exposed as the posers they are.


I think the fans need something to cheer. I also wish they win 4th and the game in LA if there will be a 5th game. The symptoms for this ON and OFF Laker team is there since the start of the season. Losing 4 consecutive games for the first time in November, losing the Christmas Day in the 4th quarter against the Heat, losing five consecutive games at the close of season, dragging NO to a contentious 2-2 on the first round - this is not the Championship Laker team that we know. When there is bad management in any company, the first person to be blamed is the CEO even it is not his fault. It is a command responsibility therefore I say TERMINATE Mitch K. and let's start from scratch.

Hey all. Been busy lately, but got up early this morning still upset over last nights game.

Not going to point fingers. Not going to call out players, or stomp or whine or cry. Veteran teams sometimes run out of steam. I pointed this out sometime around Christmas and have said it a couple times: This team has reminded me a lot of the '86 team, those old enough to remember that squad I'm sure will agree.

Anyways, all is not lost. I love Kobe's quote 'to be historic you gotta do historic things' - that's an awesome quote, and would be an all-timer if the Lakers do something all-time historic and comeback from 0-3.

Anyways, here's my analysis on what is goin' on:

If anyone CAN will their team to win, one game at a time, one possession at a time, I'm certain Kobe can. Have faith in Kobe, have faith in our guys, all is not lost. The Lakers can make history. If it isn't meant to be it isn't meant to be, but we got a game on Sunday and lets win that one and take it from there...


Cyber CosmiX,

Did u start the blog too just like the others and trying us to lead us there. Goodluck but that is not a good way of advertising it. You got to pay your dues.

Alot of people on here have given up on LA. I haven't. This series could turn on a dime. We have been up in the 4th quarter in all 3 games, with a few different plays each game, we could easily be up 3-0. Dallas has played brilliantly, as all analysts have stated, yet we should have won all 3. Think of this, if we simply run their 3 point shooters off the 3 point line and force them to take a step inside and hit a 2, if we just force that a handful of times each of these 3 games - we'd be up 3-0. Yes alot of "if's", but it is VERY doable. We win on Sunday, it puts massive pressure on Dallas going back to LA Tuesday. And I think we all are aware of how Dallas responds under pressure. Bring it Lakes!!!

"Let's at least make this thing respectable"

We are not being dominated by a superior team. A few calls, a few missed shots, less awarded Dallas free throws***, and the Lakers are up 2-1. All this can change, that's why its not over, yet. (see Yankees/Red Sox series)

If a team could come back, its this Lakers team. The Lakers improving from game two needed to go inside, they did. They also forced Dallas into an outside game, which usually means a win.

What they didn't do was close the game out, which has been a good Lakers trade mark in the past. As to why the let down? Kobe's ankle, Pau's mental issues? "Who knows?"

This Lakers team is not missing key players to injuries, like when they were swept in other playoff series. The tools are there. The coaching and preparation
are there. That's why I think they can still make this a respectable series.

But,.... if they must win on Sunday if they are to come back to LA: 1-3

Then win on Tuesday in LA: Its 2-3 and now we are talking respectable. Dallas will be facing pressure not to go back to LA again and those outside shots will be harder to make. So, is there a chance of a game 7? Yes, of course, but I will concede, its very little.

To me, its all mental from here on out. If they feel they've lost already, Dallas will attack on Sunday without let up and embarrass the Lakers in a blow out. If the Lakers come to play, we will have more drama on Tuesday.

*** By the can a team that settled for outside shots, shoot twice as many FT's than a team that took it to the hole all night?

Edwin, Peja scored 11 points in the 4th (15 total). 5 of the 11 came early in the 4th, when Barnes was on the floor and Gasol on the bench. Lamar was responsible for Nowitzki while Barnes was responsible for Peja. Gasol came in for Odom at 7:35. First thing that happened was Nowitzki hit a 2 PT jumper (had not scored in the 4th until then). Then with Lamar on the bench, Peja hit his 2nd 3 PT, so 8 of Peja's 11 in the 4th came when either Lamar was responsible for someone else or on the bench. The single exception was that one 3 PT when Lamar closed out late, when as noted by Mark, Lamar was more concerned with Chandler initially. Lastly, that was simply a wretched pass by Fisher. No one catches that pass.

Rob in LA, Edwin - This is the song I don't want to hear after Sunday's game....

@Art - I was also disappointed in the booing. I to will salute this team when it is indeed officially over.

@Rob in LA - I posted Nat's "Party Over" last week when the Spurs were The curtains are close to coming down on our Lakers also....arggh!

@Cyber - Good to see you post again...but I don't think I can stomach anymore analysis just yet!

Man, where to start?

Phil was joking around with reporters before game 3. Isn't he supposed to set an example for the team? If he is not taking it seriously, how can he expect his team to take it seriously?

Everyone saw the yelling between Phil and players on the Laker bench. The players know that it's the end of the line with Phil, and they are letting him have it. It proves that he really did lose his team this season. Kinda like telling off a boss that will no longer be your boss.

The Lakers could have won Games 1 and 3 - that's the frustrating thing. And if you compare rosters, you would agree that the Lakers have more talent. It proves that raw talent doesn't always win. A team can beat talent, and we're seeing it happen.

Yes, Kobe has lost a step, but it happens to the best of them. Can't blame him for that.

It's unfair to call Pau soft, because he is just not built like a Perkins, Shaq, Dwight, etc. But he needed to get his offensive game together. No one calls Dirk soft, you notice, because offensively he can bring it.

Joel Myers is gone as Lakers announcer, and we'll have Spero on TV next year - if there is a next year with lockout looming.

I like Andrew speaking out. He guaranteed a win in the first series and spoke up in the next series. I like that type of intensity - hope he keeps it up.

The new Laker Channel is only two years away.

I'm a Laker fan forever and will be watching on Sunday, maybe having my last Laker party at my house. True fans will tune in. It will be strange not watching Laker basketball in June.

Hoping the Lakers win Sunday and bring it back to L.A. Win or lose, they're still my favorite team in the world.



You can't pass the blame on Barnes because he played the 4th for a brief moment. They were all switching guards all I saw near Peja was Lamar. Be it as it may that you were right with what you said, there is no way to say Lamar played a GREAT DEFENSE in this series. It is one of the Lakers Achilles heel, a complacent Lamar who seemingly holds also the ON and OFF switch. Lamar, Fisher, Gasol what's the difference about these veterans, they are all good players at one segment and sucks at the most important segment of the game. That's complacency, the players without intestinal fortitude to play good for 48 minutes.

Oh, and Edwin, not trying to give Lamar a free pass. You can have a plus game and make one bad play with severe consequences. As I said, he subbed out for Gasol at 7:35 of the 4th. Came back in 2 minutes later. Took 2 shots following. Both post-ups of Peja. The first was sweet and looked sweet. The 2nd I knew was a miss before it even left his hands as his body mechanics were not smooth (looked forced). If he could have that shot back I'm sure he'd take it back.

One thing I haven't seen written this morning is what Kobe was doing during the game and from the bench.
After getting two quick fouls in the first quarter, he sat on the bench and appeared to be doing the "coaching."
Was that Jackson coaching the game last night?
Was Kobe co-coaching? Could it be that the next Lakers coach will be Kobe as player/coach?

I saw him highly animated, encouraging players, pointing for position, yelling at Shannon. At one time at the end of the third quarter, Brown made a play and offensive rebound, which resulted on a second chance basket. Kobe was all props on Shannon.
In the fourth quarter, the Lakers held the lead playing with Kobe on the sidelines. With Kobe on the floor, the Lakers, according to Kobe somebody "blew it" and allowed four consecutive open 3s, lost the lead and the game.

Who exactly "blew" it?

One game at a time.

Don't think about winning the next four, just worry about winning the one in front of you and then the one after that and the one after that and the one after that.

Basically, the Lakers need to look at every game in this series as if it were Game 7 and play as such.

Thinking about winning four straight is very daunting and enough to discourage or take the wind out of anyone's sail. Just focus on one at a time.

It really would be nice to see Kobe tie MJ for rings and PJ "go out in style" as Kobe promised him.

Kobe is starting to breakdown due to age and injuries and competition in the NBA is constantly improving. Kobe won't have much chances to surpass or even tie MJ's feat of six rings. Every season counts and the clock is ticking.

Lastly, I've been hearing a lot of talk about how arrogant the Lakers, their fans and the city of LA is as a whole from the haters. Forget them! We're LA, we have a right to be arrogant. Everyone else is just jealous because they wish they were us. LOL :)

At least we're not all talk losers like New York City. Opps, where did that come from ;)

I have a perfect coach for the lakers. Sloan is strict but at his age he may be unable to relate to these payers. See D Will. You give me Sloan and I give you better choice. The coach is.....Glenn Rivers aso known as Doc. He is a players' coach but always stress teamwork.

yeah lakers.we got this... LOL

yeah lakers,we got this...lmaooooooooooooooooooooooo

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